OPEN HOUSE -1
-Telugu Original by Dr K.Geeta
-English Translation by V.Vijaya Kumar
“Jessica wants me with her in searching open houses this Saturday evening” I said.
“Uhm..m” Surya nodded.
“Not simply, ‘Uhm…’ Knew what Open house means?” I said.
“What…?!” He said, not disrupting his computer work.
“The house sellers let the houses open for buyers to look around them. We the children used to climb the stairs of our neighborhood buildings up and down in our childhood days during Dasara. Now I got this opportunity again in America. So a nod to Jessica” I said.
The couple Jessica and Robert live in the opposite flat of our Apartment. All important offices are within the radius of ten to fifteen kms. to the location where we stay in the California Bay Area. The rents are so high that they touch the stars. Leave alone buying them!
Jessica works in a nearby elementary school as a teacher. Robert shifted to the Software field two years ago. They haven’t had any children yet, but they had a plan for it after buying a house of their own in a year. Jessica is high spirited with an undying smile.
We spoke a lot like close friends when we met.
“People here never go for marriage and children until they have settled well in life. Jessica said they went for children after buying a house of their own. Will it ever strike us at any time like these people with the idea of providing a bedroom each one dear?” I said with Surya.
“Look! Will you come with us? We can have a look at the prices in our area!” I waved my hand across the laptop for his attention.
He laughed at me and said,”I can get through you, even not coming with you! You knew it, such things never interested me!”
“Umm.. It’s enough for you to go with your laptop!” Bye! Forget not calling me if Nidhi gets disturbed” I said.
I said with Jessica, “I never found any handwritten ‘house for sale’ boards anywhere”
“True, people here do not keep any such boards by themselves outside their houses as in your country! If at all they keep, they look like bank advertisements. Very few people prefer their own risk in buying or selling their houses. Indeed it’s troublesome too. So they give it to mediator companies though it is a bit expensive affair. Those people decorate them and somehow make them rich and sell them. Some Private companies buy houses before they sell or play mediators role between the parties” Jessica detailed many such things while driving.
She collected some addresses of open houses picked up from the websites of the companies that day. We went to the first one.
Many seekers are already gathered outside the house moving in and around.
The interior is well designed and furnished beautifully.
The agent approached us with a brochure and guided us when we could forward an application.
We came out with the particulars like Asking Price, Construction date etc.
“I love that one” I said involuntarily.
She looked at me surprisingly and said,” You’re rather crazy Priya,I see just only you, liked the first choice”
I responded, “I’m not going with it, am I? I just fantasized how it would be in it! That’s all”
“Damn true! It’s fine in that context. But the thing is, we should take care of every document not leaving even the Pesticide Report you know?” She told me.
We came to the second house. Though a bit smaller than the previous one it looks more appealing with great decorative expertise.
I told Jessica about it.
“Perhaps You’re greatly impressed by those loaded book racks of cup boards” Jessica smiled at me saying.
She finds plenty of loopholes everywhere! The fireplace is not well placed, Yard is pretty small, and the bedroom is not wide… many such issues she raised, while checking every detail of the house. I take part in probing Switch boards and Sinks.
While on our way back to home, I casually said, “Why did you ask me to come, not getting with Robert?
” My good Heavens! Oh, these Guys! No patience! Nor allowed me to see! He says it’s boring to see more than two a day! This time I decided, first I see, then I take him next to there”
The evening I proposed hesitantly with Surya, “Why don’t we go for a house here in America?
Suddenly he was shocked as if a bomb had fallen on his bed. He examined me carefully and said, ” Take rest Baby! Perhaps your wits have gone crazy roaming the whole day! His voice seemed a bit sarcastic.
“I’m not joking” I said in a defiant tone.
“Look! My dear Supriya Devi garu! There’s some meaning to dream about! Your Hubby is not that rich” He said.
“So what? Everyone buying with riches? I said angrily.
I rose to my feet and pressed him down to the chair then fetched a paper and pen.
Unless I make it up on paper, he can’t make it out!
“What Jessica said is, the financial crisis in America for about a year long, led to a fall in housing sales” … Before completing my sentence Surya interfered saying,
“Of course everyone knows all these things…Many surrendered their houses to Banks as they couldn’t cope up instalments… Stock market, Inflation…” Surya got carried away in an economics lecture.
“Maybe. Yet, it’s said to be the right decision to buy now! You got it?”
I said curtly.
“Why?” He questioned.
“We get them cheaper!”
“Hopefully not for tens or cents!”
” A million dollar house for eight hundred, and a million and half worth…” I scrolled the list.
“Have you ever known the zeros in a million?” He continued,” If we go for a house in Silicon Valley for one million, the 20 percent down payment comes to around 200 thousand! He said.
“I know,” I replied curtly.
“I’d lot to do!” He readied to go away glancing at me with a derisive look as if something went wrong with me.
I pressed him down in the chair by shoulders, “Do you know once they followed the lottery method buying a house? We are lucky enough to have a chance like this with multiple opportunities. I thoroughly went into details. Banks now provide loans to pay 5 percent down payment. Rate of interest is altogether dirt cheap!” I detailed.
“If we sell away the property we got from our mother at our native place and pawned the gold and a few savings we made, it may give us a chance to buy a house ranging from five to six hundred thousand, and the rent we pay now may be turned to mortgage, or a bit more. We can tailor the expenditure if necessary” I said nonstop.
He tossed his head once glancing at me and said, “Well, let’s think of it”
When I am getting ready with Jessica next week in search of open houses Surya said,” Hopefully you don’t go hammering lectures after coming back!
I became an expert after four to five weeks of visits. If any known friends on that trail I joined the search.
In which area we choose, what amenities they have, at what prices they are available such and such information is at my fingertips not even browsing on-line.
It became a hobby to get through the open houses when I had come across during my weekend visits even alone. One should see the fear in his face lest I suggest buying a house, when I describe everything in detail the measurements of the rooms in feet and square feet.
What happened, you know one day?
(To be continued…)
A post graduate in English literature and language and in Economics. A few of my translations were published. I translated the poems of Dr. Andesri , Denchanala, Ayila Saida Chary and Urmila from Telugu to English. I write articles and reviews to magazines and news papers. To the field of poetry I am rather a new face.